First Steps toward Economic Independence: New States of the Postcommunist World

By Michael L. Wyzan | Go to book overview

Second, it will mean guaranteed access to European markets. Third, membership would also allow Slovenes to work anywhere in the EC without special permission, and likewise would allow EC citizens to work in Slovenia. Fourth, should Slovenia accede to the EC, it will probably be eligible for funds from the EC's regional programs. These funds have provided a major source of funding to the poorer EC members ( Ireland, Portugal, and especially Greece).

Of course, it is far from inevitable that Slovenia will become a full member of the EC. Such a development is hard to foresee within the current decade. However, closer association seems highly realistic, with ties growing stronger rather rapidly.


CONCLUSIONS

Nearly three years after the declaration of Slovenian independence, things are looking up: inflation is under control, the economy is growing again, and real wages are nearly back to pre-independence levels. Unemployment remains a serious problem, however. Furthermore, given the uncertainty surrounding the future of the region, and the nature of internal Slovenian politics, any conclusions drawn at this early stage must be tentative.

First, despite the obvious costs Slovenia has incurred in the short run, prospects of medium- and long-run economic benefits seem fairly good. Above all, the ability to pursue macroeconomic stability, the fruit of political independence and a separate currency, appears to be yielding tangible benefits. Membership, or at last a closer relationship with the EC, appears likely, and will prove highly advantageous. The ending of the old interregional redistributive practices, if combined with a halt in cross-subsidization and the fashioning of functional new institutions which are appropriate for Slovenia, especially in the labor market, holds great promise.

Second, Slovenia's case does not prove that any separation from a larger entity would be welfare increasing. In fact, Slovenia's separation from Yugoslavia might not have been as beneficial as it has been already had Yugoslav politics turned out differently. Had forces amenable to rational debate and compromise prevailed in Yugoslavia, Slovenian secession might actually have been welfare decreasing.

Slovenia's experience suggests that secession from a larger entity that is racked by political instability may yield positive net economic benefits. If local political autonomy provides an opportunity to introduce a new currency and achieve macroeconomic stability, separation can

-161-

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First Steps toward Economic Independence: New States of the Postcommunist World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1- Introduction 1
  • References 21
  • I- FORMER SOVIET REPUBLICS 23
  • 2- Estonia 25
  • CONCLUSIONS 43
  • Notes 45
  • Notes 48
  • 3- Ukraine 50
  • Conclusion 75
  • References 77
  • 4- Kazakhstan 80
  • 4- Kazakhstan 80
  • Notes 107
  • Notes 107
  • 5- Georgia 112
  • Notes 134
  • II- FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLICS 137
  • CONCLUSIONS 161
  • Notes 162
  • Notes 163
  • 7- Croatia 166
  • Conclusion 185
  • Notes 186
  • Notes 191
  • 8- Macedonia 193
  • Notes 219
  • Notes 221
  • III- OTHER CASES 227
  • 9- Slovakia 229
  • Notes 255
  • Index 259
  • About the Editor and Contributors 267
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